Friday, May 31, 2024

Action Figure Review: Patch & Joe Fixit from Marvel Legends Series: Wolverine by Hasbro


   Today I'm checking out the last of the four Wolverine 50th Anniversary 2-packs from Hasbro's Marvel Legends Series: Patch and Joe Fixit. When your significant other sees you grabbing this set and says "Do you really need another Wolverine and another Incredible Hulk?" you can just point to the fact that this 2-pack doesn't come with Wolverine or Hulk. That's Patch and Joe Fixit. Of all four Wolverine sets that have come out for the 50th, this set has the most desirable Wolverine variant and the least desirable non-Wolverine figure. I like the Hulk, don't get me wrong, but I already had the BAF Joe Fixit and another one just came out pretty recently. He does look cool chilling with Patch in a white tux, though, but he wasn't a character or variant I really felt I needed. Based on Wolverine #8 from 1988 and that great John Buscema cover, this set definitely makes sense, though, and I imagine it'll still be a brisk seller even though more people want Patch than Joe. Ready to check out these two tough guys in their snazziest dud? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Action Figure Review: Techno-Viper from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   Ready for another review from the G.I. Joe: Classified Series? Then let's take a look at the Techno-Viper, one of Cobra's battlefield technicians. The first few G.I. Joe figures I had were from 1986 but I recall having most of the 1987 series as well, so it's possible I started getting into G.I. Joe in late 1986 or early 1987 and started getting whoever was around. By 1987 we were definitely seeing more unusual colors in the line and the Techno-Viper managed to look really cool and serious while still having a bright purple outfit. It works, doesn't it? For being one of the earlier Viper types in the vintage line, the Techno-Viper didn't really get much attention in the 2000s line: We didn't get a "modern" Techno-Viper until the 2011 30th Anniversary line. That was a great figure but this one ups the size and detail due to simply being larger. He's also got one or two new tricks, though I also have a couple few nits as well. ready to check out the Techno-Viper? Then let's get things rolling after the break...

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Action Figure Review: Hallow's Eve from Marvel Legends Series: Spider-Man by Hasbro

 Today I'm looking at a figure from the newest series of Spider-Man Marvel Legends Series figures that are packaged like the Marvel Legends: Retro Collection figures, but which don't have retro styled card backs and aren't based on older characters. Really, that seems to be the packaging Hasbro uses now when they just don't want to include a Build-a-Figure in a series. The figure I'm checking out is Hallowe's Eve, a character who I knew nothing at all about when I picked her up. Nothing, nada, zip. I grabbed her because she's a crazy lady with a Halloween themed gimmick and little masks as accessories. I dig, I dig. It turns out her real name is Elizabeth Tyne (though she also went by Janine Godbe for a bit) and she's in a relationship with Ben Reilly and at some point gets turned by Madeline Pryor, aka Goblin Queen, into Hallow's Eve. Enchanted by magic from the finger of S'ym, Hallow's Eve has the power to create masks with different powers that she pulls out of her purple satchel. She can use the masks on herself to obtain different powers and appearances or use them on her enemies to weaken and curse them. That's pretty cool, actually. We're still about four months away from 31 Days of Toy Terror and I didn't want to put off reviewing her for that long, so let's check out Hallow's Eve after the break...

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Action Figure Review: Quick Kick from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   For being one of the more recognizable G.I. Joe members who appeared in multiple forms of media, Quick Kick only showed up in the vintage line one time (1985) and didn't make a reappearance until 2008 as part of the 25th Anniversary line. My favorite version of Quick Kick is the 2010 Pursuit of Cobra version as outfitted the figure with shoes, a firearm, and a removable uwagi. Decked out in a black outfit with yellow trim, that version of Quick Kick felt like a great take on the character that modernized him, keeping the fun elements of the character while still making him seem like a legitimate part of a special ops team. For the Classified Series take on Quick Kick, Hasbro's Joe team has largely approached the figure as an updated take on the vintage toy. There are some great new features and he's quite cool, no surprise there, but it definitely doesn't try to reimagine the character at all. Let's take a look at Quick Kick, the G.I. Joe team's silent weapons expert, after the break...

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Barbecue's Cache: Caching Gremlins from the Geocoin Club


   It's time for another visit to Barbecue's Cache! Today I'm showing off another Geocoin from my collection. It's another Chris Mackey design from Geocoin and was the coin for September 2020. This one is called "Caching Gremlins" and pays tribute (or perhaps offers a warning) to the ways that geocaches can end up damaged or missing. 99 percent of the time geocaches are placed outdoors (there are limited scenarios where they are allowed inside), so you're essentially having to find a way to shelter your cache from the elements and from muggles. Yeah, muggles. What's a muggle? Well, in the Wizarding World they're non-magical folk but in geocaching they're non-cachers. Caches are exposed to high and low temperatures, wild animals, environmental changes (floods, rockslides, forest fires), and, yes, folks who stumble upon it by accident. 
   The Caching Gremlins coin has an antique copper finish with a soft enamel for the colored details. The front of the coin has a crazy looking gremlin face in the middle with a very wicked intent. When something happens to your geocache that you can't explain, who can you blame? The gremlin! Gremlins came about in the 1920s as a excuse facetious excuse for malfunctions in aircraft and other machinery, especially in military settings. Surrounding the gremlin's face here are some icons reflecting the different issues that can effect geocaches: A snowflake for cold weather, an animal print for animals that sometimes disturb caches (or invade them), a landslide warning sign, what looks like an underwater ammo box cache leaking, and a flame for both high temperatures and forest fire. It's entirely possible to find an older metal ammo box cache in a heavily wooded area that has been through a forest fire. Sometimes the interior contents have melted but the metal boxes themselves are usually fine. If it's a plastic or Tupperware container, forget about it. I've seen photos where cachers have found melted hunks of plastic that were presumably the cache. 
   In between the icons hare images of different nature environments for hiding caches. Urban caches are very popular as well but they're far less adventurous (usually). Let's check out the other side of the coin after the break...

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Action Figure Review: Metal-Head from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

   Oh my gosh! I hadn't realized it's been over a month since I last reviewed a G.I. Joe: Classified Series figure! Today I'm checking out Metal-Head, who I believe is the the most recent deluxe release in the line. From what I've picked up online, Metal-Head isn't the most popular release. I think some of that is because there does seem to be some ill will among collectors when it comes to deluxe releases; they just feel they're often overpriced for what you get. Another reason that Metal-Head seems unpopular is that there is a weird design decision when it comes to the missiles: They can't just go into the launchers without using the firing effects. That is a weird decision and I believe it's the first time that a missile has been designed that way in the Classified Series. Thirdly, Metal-Head was originally released in 1990, so there are a lot of collectors who were out of the line by that time and who just don't want anything but straight up vintage versions of the earliest characters in the line. I got into G.I. Joe a bit later as a kid so I absolutely was still collecting in 1990. In fact, I think it's one of the strongest years of the line. I had Metal-Head as a kid (in fact, I still own him) and I've always liked him as a upper level named Cobra characters, though he really is a member of the Iron Grenadiers. This is the first Iron Grenadiers release we've had in the line to date, right? Let's take a look and see how Metal-Head turned out, after the break...

Monday, May 20, 2024

Action Figure Review: Skeletor & Demogorgon from Masters of the Universe X Stranger Things by Mattel


      Stranger Things is definitely one of the biggest hits in pop culture from the last decade or so. While pop culture and entertainment is so often heavily segmented these days, Stranger Things managed to capture a pretty wide audience and gain some wide spread pop culture recognition. My daughter is10 and we've been watching through the show with her. She's absolutely loving it. While we're waiting for the fifth and final season, many companies have still been releasing lots of toys and merchandising items for the show. There have been some crossovers between Stranger Things and a number of other 1980s pop culture staples and now we're getting Masters of the Universe X Stranger Things from Mattel. While some of the other crossovers have used the human characters from the show, Mattel's Masters of the Universe X Stranger Things line seems to be just using the monsters so far with a storyline that Skeletor has accidently broken into the Upside Down, allowing Vecna to come through and attempt to take over Eternia. That's a decent setup and, to be honest, you could simply consider these as a Masters of the Universe meets Dungeons & Dragons crossover, too. The Demogorgon in this set is actually a pretty cool Masters of the Universe Origins styled monster figure and Skeletor has more paint applications and a darker color scheme than the basic Origins Skeletor figure. It's a pretty good set, really, and I think it's a decent crossover though it's probably of more interest to MOTU fans than just Stanger Things fans. Ready to check out Skeletor and the Demogorgon? Then join me after the break..

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Barbecue's Cache: The Great Frontier from The Geocoin Club

   Last week I showed off a geocaching trackable item that I found in a geocache and that I took some pictures of and moved along. This week I'm showing off a newer piece from my collection: The Great Frontier geocoin from The Geocoin Club. The Geocoin Club has been making amazing trackable coins for almost 20 years now and I've recently joined the club, so I get a coin sent to me every month. The Great Frontier geocoin is the monthly coin for March 2024 and was designed by Chris Mackey. It's a 3.5 mm thick coin with a shiny silver finish and soft enameling with an epoxy dome. The coin is trackable (the code is on the side, so you can take pictures of it without having to hide the code) and comes with a pathtag companion. 

   While the majority of geocaches are on dryland, they can absolutely be hidden underwater, requiring scuba gear to get to. I haven't found any like this yet but I'd love to someday. I mean, 71% of Earth's surface is water, so that's a lot of space. The front of the coin shows off a giant octopus in front of a compass rose whose tentacles are extending out to some little designs on the sides that represent different aspects of nautical exploration. There are a couple different knots, a paper map, a spyglass, an anchor, a hook, propeller, an anchor, and maybe some oars. The blue and white rings actually have little bubble like designs in them, which is a great effect. Let's check out the other side of the coin after the break...

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Action Figure Review: Wolverine & Psylocke from Marvel Legends Series: Wolverine by Hasbro


   Another Wolverine two pack today? Yup! Another Wolverine two pack. This time we get Wolverine in his sleek black outfit from his time operating in Madripoor and Japan and Psylocke in her armored outfit. Well, this is Betsy Braddock as Psylocke, but, thanks to the machinations of The Hand and Spyral, she's inhabiting the body of the assassin Kwannon and going by the name of Lady Mandarin. Huh. I think quite a few collectors were wanting to see Betsy's earlier armored costume, but this one is a solid pick as well. It really offers up something quite different. This Wolverine seems to be tied with the Brood Wolverine as the least popular of the four new Wolverine figures as he was released in the Retro Series a few years back, though this is clearly a much better figure than that one. Still, wouldn't a figure of Matsu'o Tsurayaba have been a cool addition? Of course, then the pack wouldn't have fit in to the Wolverine theme. Ready to check out these two ninja level warriors? Then join me after the break...

Friday, May 10, 2024

Just Passing Through: Delfts Blue Tulip from DutchTagZ


   I've been geocaching since 2005 and, while I've mentioned it once it once or twice before, today I'm going to start a series of posts focusing on Geocaching trackables. I'll probably try to do some posts related to the subject a couple times a month, some with trackables I've found or discovered ("Just Passing Through") and others with coins and trackables from my personal collection. Today I'm checking out a trackable I discovered in a geocache about a month ago: A DutchTagZ "Delfts Blue Tulip" that began it's journey in North Holland, Netherlands in 2016. 

  If you are unfamiliar with Geocaching, it's basically a worldwide high-tech treasure hunt using a handheld GPS receiver or smartphone to track down containers that other geocachers have found. While there are some variations, typically you use the coordinates and GPS receiver to reach the location and then have to find the geocache, or cache itself. Caches can come in all sizes and while the classic example is an ammo box, over time most caches have become smaller. Inside is typically a paper log which you date, sign, and then log online at Some larger caches have items in them which you can trade for. Usually little trinkets like pins, keychains, minifigures, etc. Geocaches stay in place and aren't meant to move, but they can house little trinkets called trackables or travel bugs, which are intended to move. 

   Trackables and travel bugs are usually a metal item, like a dogtag, keychain, or coin, and they have a code on them. Typically you don't share these codes online. Instead, if you find the trackable item in person you can use the code to discover it online. You can either discover it and put it back or you can pick it up and take it with you. Some trackables and travel bugs have missions while others just go where ever anyone takes them. They can be tracked online as geocachers discover them and log their journeys. Some hang around and travel for years while others quickly disappear.

   Today I'm looking at Delfts Blue Tulip trackable from DutchTagZ. This particular trackable departed from North Holland, Netherlands in 2016 and was placed in a cache in Minnesota, USA by the owner. Since then it has been travelling the United States. I've not found a cache large enough to accommodate it yet, but I'm hopeful I will tomorrow. Let's take a closer look at this trackable after the break...

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Action Figure Review: Tri-Klops from Masterverse: Masters of the Universe: New Eternia by Mattel


   Today I'm looking at another Masterverse figure from the Masters of the Universe: New Eternia assortment, and this time it's a villain to add to Skeletor's Evil Warriors: Tri-Klops! Tri-Klops is evil, sees everything, and differed a little bit in his earliest minicomic appearance when compared with the vintage figure. He was also, according to Roger Sweet, originally a Heroic Warrior. Tri-Klops definitely might be the most well known character with the fewest number of unique looks, so it's quite fun to get a version of him that tries to add a bit of old and a bit of new into the mix, leaving us with a rather cool New Eternia take on Trydoor Esooniux Scope. No wonder he goes by Tri-Klops, huh? Let's hop in and check out the Masters of the Universe figure preferred by 4 out of 5 optometrists. Oh, and the other 1 out of 5? They dig Optikk. More Tri-Klops and optical humor after the break...

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Action Figure Review: Logan vs Sabretooth from Marvel Legends Series: Wolverine by Hasbro


   If there's one of the four new Wolverine 50th anniversary 2-packs that everyone seems to be going nuts over, it's this one: Logan vs Sabretooth. Who doesn't love these two guys? In this set you get Logan in his casual duds, looking like he's hanging out in some country road dive bar or a smoky old pool hall, and Sabretooth at his biggest and baddest. Seriously, he's a pretty big dude! I didn't collect many Toy Biz Marvel Legends back in the day (and I only own one or two of the ones I did collect), but Sabretooth was one of them. Having grown up with the X-Men Sabretooth with the "healing" wound, the Toy Biz Marvel Legends Sabretooth was an insane upgrade! This new version of Victor Creed just makes the guy even more menacing. This is an excellent set and I'm excited to review it in what is definitely one of the best years for the X-Men to date. Let's check out Logan vs Sabretoooth after the break...

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Action Figure Review: Mekaneck from Masterverse: Masters of the Universe New Eternia by Mattel


   It's been a couple weeks since I last reviewed a Masters of the Universe action figure and since I failed to put anything up for Masters of the Universe Day this year (oops!), consider this look at the Masterverse: New Eternia Mekaneck a belated Masters of the Universe Day review. I love Mekaneck and I've always been obsessed with doodling him. For some reason in middle school and high school I just got pretty good at doodling Mekaneck. Well, at least his head and helmet. I'd often give him different bodies, but I'd usually stick with his classic and cool helmet. Why? I don't know. Mekaneck is one of the New Eternia themed figures, so he's somewhat of a classic Masterverse take on Mekaneck with some new accessories and features that help him stand out a bit more. Ready to sneak a peak at Mekaneck, the Heroic Human Periscope? Then join me after the break...